Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)


A Small and Medium Enterprise Perspective on Polychronicity and Firm Performance in Ghana

Author(s): Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid, Abdul-Jalil Abukari, Benjamin Baroson Angenu, Winston Asiedu Inkumsah and Munkaila Abdulai

This qualitative study delves into the concept of polychronicity and its implications for firm performance in the context of information technology (IT) start-ups in Ghana. Polychronicity refers to the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously or switch between them fluidly. We selected six purposefully chosen IT start-ups, representing both the southern and northern zones of Ghana, to participate in this research. Drawing upon grounded theory methodology, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with key personnel, including managers, chief executive officers (CEOs), and founders, to gain insights into their understanding of polychronicity and its effects on organizational performance. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, a qualitative approach was adopted to obtain a richer understanding of the phenomenon, considering that financial data disclosure by small start-ups can be limited. The findings reveal that IT start-ups operating in a dynamic and uncertain technological environment are more likely to adopt polychronic cultures as a strategy to respond to the demands of the modern knowledge economy. The flexible and adaptable nature of polychronicity enables these start-ups to handle diverse project requirements and make the most of their limited resources, ultimately contributing to enhanced performance. Moreover, the study uncovers that in the pursuit of success, IT start-ups in Ghana prioritize not only financial metrics but also non-financial aspects, such as customer satisfaction, innovation, and cost-saving strategies. This broader view of performance aligns with contemporary management literature, which emphasizes the significance of organizational outcomes beyond financial measures. By providing a nuanced perspective on performance at the small business level, this research contributes to the strategic orientation literature and broadens the understanding of polychronicity as a cultural variable that can be cultivated by a group of individuals in a given context. Furthermore, it sheds light on how polychronicity drives organizational outcomes from the perspective of social identity theory, wherein employees' identification with their organization fosters collective dedication and commitment. Overall, this study presents novel insights into the relationship between polychronicity and firm performance in IT start-ups within a developing economy context.

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